Weeks on end of fun, climbing trees, out at 7 or 8 with mates, go where ever, whenever the mood takes you, building dens, covered in clay, mud, water and other assorted germ filled outdoor guff.
Out on bikes, go-karts, patched together with anything that you could nick off dad, without him noticing until it was too late. Raiding the “scrappers” for bits, etc, etc.
All this while resembling stig of the dump’s long lost cousin and having scars and scratches to match.
Then, in the middle of your finest hours of your life (so far), you get dragged off like a screaming banshee, to the one shop in the nearest town, the shop you’d only ever visit once a year, the shop which your parents would march you into and bend you, twist you, until you could flex no more…
The school uniform shop!
Stiff collars, shoes that are guaranteed to take the skin off your heels for a fortnight and make the lining of your new school socks stick into the top of your toes.
Itchy pants, pocket linings so sharp that the corners felt like a skin graft for three weeks of the new school year and the cherry on the top, the blazer / jumper combo that “You’ll grow into!”
Not satisfied with the humiliation of showing the local town your arse, when mum rips the changing room curtain aside, as you hurriedly wrench up your horsehair kegs and tuck in your cardboard, devoid of any movement, new school shirt, you are whipped around, then back the other way again, like a cheap washing machine drum that’s about to conk out (by the sounds you make when she does it), with those immortal words, “Oh yes! You look so smart!”
I don’t want to look smart mum, I want my comfy old clothes back!
You now know that your summer holidays are coming to an end. You haven’t scanned a clock for over a month, unless you got up late for swap shop. John Craven’s news round has been your teatime clock, morning cartoons finishing your time piece of choice, for calling on your mates.
Give it a week and you’ll be back on the treadmill of life and your summer world will just be a long gone fantasy that you may have flashbacks of, during double maths, like it never really happened.
It doesn’t have to be this way parents.
The trauma of the school uniform and the shop that flogs it to you, for the price of a small car, can be but an illusion to your kids.
Visit an outlet shop in a beach town, nip in, buy the shoes, chuck them in the boot and swan off for four hours of bliss on the beach. Nip to an out of town shopping centre, 5 minutes of grabbing new school shirts then boom! Off next door for an hours ten pin bowling.
The kids we were, wanted fun, remember that feeling?
You can miss one episode of dross on the gogglebox, god knows they repeat the shite often enough, so get out there and create school uniform memories, that will destroy an ageing comic’s material in the future!
Make it fun, make it so!